Charles Oliveira will not be ready for UFC 294; Who will fight Islam Makhachev?

MMA: UFC 242- Makhachev vs Ramos

Charles Oliveira recently revealed that he won’t be ready to fight Islam Makhachev at UFC 294 in October. This news has left many wondering who Makhachev could fight next.

We know just a little over three months away from UFC 294 in Abu Dhabi where Islam Makhachev is expected to defend his lightweight championship. With no clear-cut No. 1 contender after Charles Oliveira beat Beneil Dariush, it’s up in the air as to who will be next to face off against Islam Makhachev.

Even though Makhachev dominated and finished Oliveira, many believe he deserves a rematch for the title after his amazing performance against Dariush. Unfortunately, he will not be ready for UFC 294 but says he will be ready for November or December if he is willing to wait. If he doesn’t wait, we take a look at who Islam Makhachev can potentially fight next at UFC 294.

Justin Gaethje

Justin Gaethje is set to take on Dustin Poirier at UFC 291 later this month but could put himself in a position to fight for the title a third time if he is able to come away victorious. He is one of the top contenders in the lightweight division, and he would be a great opponent for Makhachev. Gaethje is known for his striking skills, but he also has a solid wrestling background. This would make for an interesting matchup against Makhachev and a dangerous one at that.

Dustin Poirier

As we originally stated, Poirier is set to take on Gaethje at UFC 291 in Salt Lake City, Utah later this month but a win here certainly puts his name in the mix for that title shot at UFC 294 barring no injuries or medical suspensions. Poirier is arguably one of the best strikers in the lightweight division but is also well-versed on the mat with a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu which would make him one of the toughest stylistic matchups for Makhachev.

Beneil Dariush

Beneil Dariush just got recently knocked out by the No.1 contender Charles Oliveira but with Oliveira on the sidelines and not being ready to fight in October, Dariush can slide right into that championship spot if he is the only healthy option. Also, this is the fight that Makhachev has been calling for as it would be a new contender that poses a threat that’s different than the rest of the contenders in the lightweight division.

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